Salah at the double as lightning start helps Liverpool win Brighton battle

Date published: Wednesday 8th July 2020 10:11

Liverpool made the most of a quickfire start as they beat Brighton to claim their first away win as Premier League champions.

Jurgen Klopp’s side had fallen to defeat away at Manchester City in their first match since being crowned champions, before returning to winning ways at home to Aston Villa.

Their third match as champions saw them travel to face Brighton, and they were 2-0 up within the first 10 minutes.

Mohamed Salah opened the scoring, before captain Jordan Henderson doubled the lead with a good finish from the edge of the box.

However, Brighton refused to give up, and pulled one back before half-time through a Leandro Trossard volley at the end of a good move.

Liverpool restored their two-goal lead in the second half, though, as Salah headed in at the near post to make it 3-1.

You can see how all the action unfolded via our Live Centre here.

 

Record-chasing Liverpool now require a further nine points from fixtures against Burnley, Arsenal, Chelsea and Newcastle to surpass the 100 points Manchester City accrued two seasons ago.

Albion may well feel aggrieved to finish empty handed but paid a heavy price for their sloppy start and remain without a win against Liverpool in any competition since January 1984.

The Seagulls stay nine points clear of relegation zone, albeit having played a game more than both 18th-placed Aston Villa and second-bottom Bournemouth.

Liverpool boss Klopp made four changes following Sunday’s lacklustre win over Aston Villa, including handing a first league start to 19-year-old defender Neco Williams.

The Reds arrived on the south coast having gone five away games in all competitions without scoring.

After being afforded a guard of honour from their opponents for the third successive game, the visitors quickly halted that run during a flying start.

Salah claimed the sixth-minute opener, emphatically dispatching the ball into the bottom left corner after the dawdling Davy Propper was dispossessed on the edge of his own box by Naby Keita.

Albion’s attempts to play out from defence were admirable but they were again caught out less than three minutes later.

Seagulls defender Adam Webster was at fault on this occasion, overrunning the ball in midfield before the ball fell for Henderson to stylishly curl home from 20 yards.

Brighton could have been forgiven for fearing the worst but they regrouped and gradually grew into the game, with Trossard the primary threat.

The lively Belgian winger was twice denied by last-ditch blocks, while his marauding run down the left flank led to Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker being forced to deny Neal Maupay.

Graham Potter’s men gave themselves hope of mounting a fightback by pulling one back moments before half-time.

Seagulls defender Tariq Lamptey took advantage of Williams being out of position to deliver a low cross from the right and Trossard, who claimed the winner at Norwich on Saturday, thumped home on the half volley.

Williams endured a mixed full debut and, having been booked, was substituted at half-time, with Andy Robertson coming on.

Brighton had gone into the game almost assured of a fourth successive season in the top-flight having taken an impressive seven points from 12 since the restart.

They wasted a golden chance to equalise on the hour mark when unmarked defender Dan Burn scuffed an effort towards goal and saw it hacked away by Georginio Wijnaldum following a partially-cleared corner.

Liverpool were in desperate need of a third to quash the hosts’ hopes and it duly arrived in the 76th minute.

Substitute Robertson delivered an inviting inswinging corner from the right and Salah found space at the near post to glance home.

Henderson then limped off with an apparent injury 10 minutes from time, with James Milner coming on for his 536th Premier League outing to climb to fifth in the competition’s all-time appearance rankings.

Salah wasted two fine late opportunities to clinch a hat-trick but the misses mattered little as Liverpool marched on in their pursuit of a record points haul.

 

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